Popular Music (BA Hons)

Two male musicians performing

Study mode



3 Years (Full-Time)


Park, Cheltenham

Develop your industry portfolio on a course with 100% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2016.

Guitarist performing during BBC Introducing

Learn from industry experts.

Music festival stage in action, night time
Students using mixing desk

Embrace diversity and celebrate original ideas. This course will help you to explore and enhance your creative voice, develop a range of practical skills, and build an industry-facing portfolio and network of contacts to enable you to launch your career. Develop skills in songwriting, performance, music production, visual media, live events and community music practice. You’ll have the opportunity to work with musicians, artists and music producers across our music degrees, and take part in our annual European Capital City Showcase in cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam and Prague. Work on live business briefs and graduate with a rich production portfolio and industry contacts, ready for a successful music career. Benefit from links with BBC Introducing (hosted on campus each year), EMI, and Gloucestershire-based Wychwood and 2000trees music festivals. Learn from lecturers with diverse industry experience including musical direction for Blur and Gorillaz, producer of music for Broken (2013) and 8 Minutes Idle (2012), producers for Sony and Universal and BAFTA award winners.

During your first year you’ll explore composition, performance and creative music production. With a market-focused approach you’ll write and record songs, develop audio-visual content and play gigs as part of a vibrant community of musicians. You’ll also examine music’s place in cultural, economic and political contexts. Performance continues as a focus in your second year, with regular live events, on and off campus. You’ll explore the potential of web and broadcast technologies as a live performance platform, as well as music for moving image. You’ll also develop expertise in business relevant to your musical area. This includes licensing and royalties, label management, live event management, marketing and global music opportunities. You’ll be able to choose from a range of optional modules to match your interests and career goals. Demonstrating your creative, commercial and academic expertise, you’ll create a product and live performance in your final year. You’ll also gain experience through a work placement, to inform your dissertation, relevant to your career plans. Recent destinations have included EMI, Universal Music, ITV, Warner Bros and the BBC.

You’ll benefit from excellent facilities and support as part of our close-knit Media School. This includes industry-standard technologies and a digital suite. Using our ground-breaking Dante Audio Networking system, you’re able to compose, perform and record your work in a dynamic range of spaces that are suited to individual, small and large-group projects.

Study style

This course is 100% coursework.

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2017 entry*

112 tariff points

Typical offers

BBC at A levels, DMM at BTEC or use a combination of your qualifications to achieve the required tariff total.

2017 UCAS tariff table

Mature Applicants: We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants. To find out more, please email our enquiries team.

For international students please see entry requirements in your country for full details.

Grade C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required. If you don't meet your tariff points total we may still consider your application. Please email our admissions team for further information.

* Selection by portfolio and interview

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

UCAS codes

UCAS codes available for this subject
Single Honours - 3 years full-timeW300


  • Recording artist
  • Live performer
  • Songwriter
  • Music entrepreneur
  • Community music and education practitioner

Profile photo of Charlotte Robertson

Student Focus

Charlotte Robertson

I'm a sound engineer. I’ve just finished two years' touring with multi award winning folk fusion band, Roving Crows.

I’ve worked with the BBC and Jamie Cullum. I blame my degree! It was brilliant! The support I got from lecturers was massive. I won two awards at uni. One was presented at BAFTA. I coordinated projects at Wychwood and Cheltenham Jazz. I loved it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started my degree. I love sound engineering. I love seeing other people enjoy the music.

Associated professional accreditations

The course has industry-standard JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) accreditation. This means that students develop industry-relevant for working in the music and entertainment industries, across the UK and internationally.

Industry links

Across our music and media courses, students have undertaken work placements with EMI, Universal Music, ITV, Warner Bros and the BBC. They have also worked technical sound roles for local festivals, 2000trees and Wychwood, and work with the Media School’s BBC Introducing broadcasts.  Our staff have a huge range of combined business experience including working with the BBC, Universal, Sony, Virgin, Orange and O2. In lectures and workshops, you’ll also hear from professional content creators and taste-makers who tour, record, design and produce music and media projects.  

mike smith

Learn from industry experts

Learn from lecturers who are performers, composers, producers and managers; they have toured with Blur and Gorillaz, gigged at Glastonbury, produced music for Hospital records and Sony, worked at EMI and Universal, won BAFTA awards and published books.

student playing guitar

Produce your own European tour

Work with musicians, artists and music producers from our Music Business and Creative Music Technology degrees and gain valuable experience, taking part in our annual European Capital City Showcase in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and Prague.

Work in state-of-the-art facilities

With brand new music facilities opening in Autumn 2016, we have designed and created a set of recording, rehearsal and production spaces for the networked age. Using the ground-breaking Dante Audio Networking system, you’re able to compose, perform and record your work in a dynamic range of spaces that are suited to individual, small and large-group projects. This cutting-edge technology will enable you to make the highest quality music and engage with 21st century production practices.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses.

+44 (0)3330 141414

James Industry Accredited